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Caitlin Clark will be left off the Team USA roster for Paris Olympics, source says

Caitlin Clark, the WNBA rookie sensation and all-time college scoring leader, is set to be left home when the U.S. national team travels to the Paris Olympics, a source familiar with the decision told NBC News on Saturday. 

The formal announcement of Team USA’s roster has not been announced but the squad headed to the international competition will include 12 veterans, the source said.

The roster is set to include such WNBA stars as Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson and New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart, the source told NBC News.

« We have not made any official announcement yet, » a Team USA spokesperson said.

The decision about Clark’s absence was first reported by The Athletic.

Clark is coming off her best game yet in her short pro career, pouring in 30 points and sinking seven 3-pointers in the Indiana Fever’s 85-83 win at the Washington Mystics on Friday.

She was named the WNBA’s rookie of the month for May though her time so far in the league hasn’t been completely smooth.

Her long-range shooting has been inconsistent, making 32.7% of her 3-point attempts, with the league average of 32.6%.

She’s been plagued by an average of more than five turnovers per game for a total of 67 giveaways, most in the league.

So absence from a Team USA roster, that’ll be seeking an eighth consecutive gold medal for America, can certainly be justified from a pure on-the-court standpoint. 

But by leaving Clark at home, USA Basketball is passing on an opportunity to add additional buzz to the competition.

Her mere presence in the WNBA has transformed the league into a hot ticket and must-see TV

Teams have been moving to larger arenas when Indiana visits to accommodate new fans eager to spend their money on WNBA games.

Squads are even flying charter this season, a perk long sought by players that has finally come in this time of explosive growth in the women’s game. 

Clark was the WNBA’s overall No.1 pick back in April, coming off a four-year University of Iowa career in which she scored a record 3,951 points.

The two-time national player of the year led the Hawkeyes to consecutive NCAA championship games.

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